Ringside: Lamb quotes are up to 30c/kg ahead on 2014
Lamb prices are continuing to hold at high levels and as we move towards the easing up of supplies of the hoggets farmers will be hoping that this trend continues.
Most plants are currently quoting a base of €6.50/kg, close to 30c/kg up on last year. Kildare Chilling and the two ICMs are all on €6.50/kg and paying a quality assurance (QA) bonus of 10c/kg. Kepak Athleague did not quote yesterday, while Moyvalley were offering an all-in quote of €6.60/kg.
Farmers selling numbers are successfully bargaining for prices of 10-20c/kg above what they are being quoted so my advice would be to keep the lambs thriving, sell as soon as they come to weight and bargain hard in order to maximise their value. You will only sell them once.
The hoggets appear to be pretty steady apart from a dip of 10c/kg to the base quote from Kildare. This brings them back to a base of €5.70 plus the 10c/kg QA top-up and in line with both of the ICM factories. Kepak are also offering this €5.70/kg base with a 6c/kg QA bonus.
A few factory sources mentioned that the hoggets coming in can tend to be of very mixed quality with some over-weight while others are under fleshed.
The ICMs are on €3.30/kg for the cull ewes, while a fall of 10c/kg drops Kildare to a base of €3.20/kg but the factory is paying a QA bonus of 10c/kg. Kepak Athleague remain on €3.20/kg. I have heard of farmers securing prices of between €3.40-3.50/kg.
In Britain, little change in the trade has been reported. The SQQ live price for lamb in England and Wales was making the equivalent of around €6.36/kg deadweight towards the end of the week.
A small uplift to the trade in France was reported on the back of a rise in demand with promotions centred on forequarter cuts. Meanwhile, Grade 1 Irish lamb was making €6.35kg (deadweight including VAT) towards the end of last week.